Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Time is a structure relative to ourselves. Time is the space made by our lives, where we stand together forever. Time and relative dimension in space. It means life. 
The Doctor: The Pilot, Doctor Who
As I was sitting at my work computer first thing this morning, drinking a cup of tea and reading e-mails, our front desk person Kate came running into my office, all but dancing with excitement.

"I saw someone unloading a blue police box from a van this morning on my way to work!  It was just down the street!  What if it was for Doctor Who?!  You have to go look!!!"

"But Kate, I have a fresh cup of tea..."

She pointed a trembling finger at the TARDIS outline on my Doctor Who mug and exclaimed, "It was just like that!  Your tea doesn't matter!!!!  QUICK!  GO!  Take your phone for pictures!!"

To the best of my knowledge, shooting for the 2017 season of Doctor Who has long since finished.  The long overdue tenth season* started two weeks ago, and as such I don't think that the production team would be back in Vancouver - that is, if they ever were, I have yet to find any solid evidence that the BBC actually did do any shooting here (and some evidence that they did not).

Regardless, I would no more say no to Kate at this point than I would kick a puppy, so I quickly shrugged into my jacket and headed for the door.  Fortuitously, my manager is out of the office, so there's no need to explain my precipitous departure.**

Regarding the new season, we're only a couple of episodes in, but so far the chemistry between the Doctor and his new companion Bill Potts has been wonderful. I have to give full credit to Pearl Mackie for her portrayal of Bill, and to the writers for the creation of such a marvelous character - it's gratifying to see good writing and good acting combine to become more than the sum of their parts. Mackie's excitement and energy take over the screen, and it's a credit to Peter Capaldi's strength as an actor that he is able to balance out such a strong performance with his more deliberate style.

Bill Potts is clever and curious, but it's also clear that life has not been kind to her. I hope that the writers continue to have the Doctor respond to Bill based on the very human tragedy of her life, as when he offers to tutor her in the physics course that he's teaching, which she's been sneaking into on her spare time from her dead-end job in the school's cafeteria kitchen, or when he surreptitiously visits her past to take pictures of her almost forgotten birth mother and then hide them in her closet.

There's a very significant exchange at the end of their first episode together where the Doctor is preparing to wipe her memories of recent events to protect his anonymity, and Bill bitterly begs to be allowed to remember for just one day, or "just for tonight. Just one night! Let me have some good dreams for once." It's a poignant moment that reveals quite a different aspect of Bill's personality, and it bodes well for upcoming episodes. 

But what of Kate's police box sighting?  Sadly, I found no evidence of a Type 40 TARDIS in spite of doing quite a comprehensive search of the nearby neighbourhood.

But she must have seen something.  Perhaps a rogue port-a-potty?  Or private ownership is always a possibility, people do build TARDISes.  Ultimately, we'll never know.  I'd like to pretend that it was actually Bill and the Doctor, touching down for a moment to grab breakfast at Deacon's Corner before heading back out into the timestream, just as a change from all those English greasy spoons.

- Sid

* It's really the 11th season, although it's been 12 years since they restarted the series in 2005, and Capaldi is the 12th Doctor, but there have actually been 13 Doctors, 14 if you count the two 1960s Doctor Who movies that featured Peter Cushing, although generally those films aren't considered to be canon, so really just the 13, except for the Shalka Doctor who was voiced by Richard Grant in 2003, and Rowan Atkinson, who did a completely non-canon 1999 Red Nose comedy special as the Doctor, along with Richard Grant again, come to think of it, and Hugh Grant and Jim Broadbent, not to mention Joanna Lumley as the first actual female Doctor know, never mind, it's not important.

** And even if he had been here, I'm certain that anyone as fundamentally decent, understanding, intelligent and yes, as handsome as he is would never stand in the way of something like this. ( I'm reasonably confident that my manager has never once looked at my blog and never will, but better safe than sorry.)

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